Our Parsha Shelach brings to mind the evolution of Israel’s political governmental scene today, particularly in light of last week’s Knesset vote-down, and abandonment by many herteofore supporters, of legislation which would have legalized, retroactively, previously governmentally approved construction in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El and in other locations. That such former vocal and high profile supporters of that legislation, such as Yisrael Beiteinu, many Likud and national religious cabinet ministers, backed down upon the threat of being fired for lack of coalition discipline shows clearly that the politicians have yet to learn and internalize the lessons which should have been gleaned after Jew expelled Jew from Gush Katif.
Our Parsha brings this author to recall memories which harken back to one Yom Nora’im (High Holidays) the late-1980s in Philadelphia, in the years just prior to becoming Ba’al Teshuva.
The conservative synagogue attended for Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur had a practice of bringing in a young JTS (Jewish Theological Seminary) guest rabbi to help and assist the synagogue’s long-time Rabbi who was getting on in years. This particular Yomim Tovim, they brought in a young fellow who proceeded to pitch the philosophies of Breira, one of the leftist-agendized predecessors of Shalom Achshav.
These were years before Shalom Achshav had succeeded in snowing and propagandizing hundreds of thousands of Israelis, in sprouting numerous different heads and tenacles which connected with leftist, Arabist, anti-semitic funding sources. And so this young conservative “traditional (sic)” rabbi-to-be proceeded to turn the Torah’s account of the Meraglim (the spies) on its ear. He portrayed the evolution of leftist “ideology”; from Breira, to the Progressives, to Shalom Achshav: of “land for peace (sic)” as a worthy sequel to Yehoshua and Caleiv, who took their lives in their hands to defend Hashem and who urged the people on into Eretz Yisrael.
This wet-behind-the-ears so-called rabbi attempted gain new adherents to the “land-for-peace(sic)” cause by portraying himself and other Breira, Progressive, Shalom Achshav, Noam Chomsky-types as life-endangered, “poor, misunderstood” under-dogs when in fact they were the early version of what would become a full-blown, well-oiled, mega-funded post-zionist propaganda machine which would team up with the Arab enemy, the EU and leftists worldwide while steam-rolling and endoctrinating Israel’s secular masses — the “golden youth” and their succeeding generations whose Jewishness and Torah rooting was anything but solid.
These leftist, elitists — these scoffers are the latter day sequels of the complainers about whom Yehuda Nachshoni (Studies in the Weekly Parsha — B’Ha’alocha, page 991) cites Akeidah as indicating that:
“They desire to be free of any ethical or spiritual bonds.”
Through the systematic use of a growing financially well-greased left-wing print and electronic media and an ever-increasing leftist influence and control over Israel’s educational institutions, the left imposes and strong-arms it’s will and attempts to bring the secular masses to serve the avodah zoras of disdain for Torah, denial of the righteousness of the modern-day return of the Jew to his land, etc. This young conservative rabbi-wannabe counted on the abject ignorance of American Jews to their history, to their heritage and even to events of contemporary modern days, such as the Entebbe rescue as a means of gaining gullible adherents by default. These were the predecessors of Oslo who blazed their way toward the phenomena of Jew expelling Jew, attempted implementation of “Road Maps” and of leaders being “too tired to fight, too tired to win.”
Chazal… interpret the word “free” in accordance with Sifrei: free from Mitzvot. “With their ‘exodus’ from Mitzrayim they had become physically free. but their souls took on Hashem as their Master. Now they wished to sever the bond.
The Holy One says: ‘You wept before Him saying Why did we leave Mitzrayim (Bamidbar Perek 11, posuk 20).’ They didn’t explicitly say this, but The Holy One… knew that they wished to throw off the yoke of Heaven, but masked this with the complaints.
“The Midrash Says,” by Rabbi Moshe Weissman (Sefer Bamidbar, Parsha Shelach, pages 162-163) discussses the corruption of the spies:
The twelve spies were dispatched on the 29th of Sivan, 2449.
Although they had been tzaddikim at the time of their appointment, they turned sour as soon as Moshe sent them out. They immediately decided to bring back a derogatory report so as to detain B’nai Yisrael.
What caused the Spies to become corrupted?
They said to each other, “Under Moshe’s leadership, we are heads of the people. As soon as we enter Eretz Yisrael, Yehoshua will become the leader. He will then appoint a different cabinet of ministers. Let us therefore detain the people in the wilderness to ensure that we shall not be demoted from our high positions.”
They spent the next 40 days planning how to make it plausible that Eretz Yisrael could not be conquered.
In a National Council of Young Israel Parshat HaShevua (June 24, 1995) on our Parsha, Rabbi Dr. Chaim Wakslak cites a preface written by Chasam Sofer in his books of Responsa:
It was because of their leadership positions, intense piety and their acclimation to a miraculous existence that they wanted to avoid the non-spiritual, non-miraculous, somewhat pedestrian existence that awaited them in Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Dr. Wakslak goes on to write:
Had the Meraglim… realized that it was incumbent upon B’nai Yisrael to move from a realm of the overtly miraculous that they had enjoyed until then, to the fulfillment of Mitzvot…, they might not have arrogantly decided to resist the Divine plan and B’nei Yisrael might have been spared the punishment that the sin of the Meraglim led to.
In essence, the spies provided the perfect “out”, the perfect rationale to sever the bond. As heads of the Sh’vatim, the 10 spies, with their ulterior motives: maintainance and perpetuation of their positions, station and empires, their perks and spoils, they covered and perpetuated their own kingdoms.
And so, true to the form which both Nachshoni and Rabbi Dr. Wakslak describe, the disunity, and perhaps mutual distrust, within the religious sectors today, coupled with the leftist, elitist intelligencia scoffers have fed efforts by successive Israeli governments who sought, seek to maintain, consolidate and perpetuate their kingdom at the expense of the governed and against the advent of a REAL Jewish leadership. Such a Real Jewish leadership would be in nobody’s pocket, would owe no debts to today’s political hacks, would make no bargains with hacks which will throw any locality or segment of the governed “under the bus” and would subserviant ONLY to Shemayim.
If today’s political/governmental leaders only realized and internalized their Divine Incumbency, maybe they would realize that they need to step aside in favor of Real Torah-true Jewish leadership which reconnects the Jews with their Divine legacy: Eretz Yisrael..
We live in contemporary times where the earliest vestiges of disunity and disdain for one’s fellow Jews and for our Eretz HaKiddusha manifested itself in propaganda displays, such as the convoluted logic of the JTS student noted above, and have evolved into engrained, morally corrupt historical revisionist institutions which have lost grasp of who they are and why they or we are here in the first place. But we, the masses don’t have to accept, support and rally around these contemporary false miraglim who defame OUR Divine legacy — Eretz Yisrael while endoctrinating and brain-washing successive generations. We must not support hack politicians who’s mindset and actions have their roots in those false miraglim of Bamidbar, and who like them, fear for their secular empires, for their political perks and spoils above all else — empires which would be lost for all time in an Authentic Jewish Torah-based governance.
We long for the attributes of a Moshe Rabbeinu, of a real Jewish leadership, which by its very nature, recognizes the necessity of national unity and the continued building and ingathering of the Jews to modern-day Israel. Such a leadership recognizes that success in Yishuv Eretz Yisrael, and in conflicts with enemies bent on our destruction are in the Hand of Hashem, but that the Yad Hashem depends on our unity and the labor, planning and efforts of our unity.
May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard and the other MIAs be liberated alive returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage, backbone and moral stength of conviction to prevent both the eviction of Jews from their homes in all or any part of Eretz Yisrael and the handing of Jewish land over to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima — the Ultimate Redemption bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim” — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.